Seven blocks of flats set to be demolished to make for 126 homes in Northampton

Flats in Castle Street were earmarked for closure by Northampton Partnership Homes back in February this year. Pictures by Kirsty Edmonds.
Flats in Castle Street were earmarked for closure by Northampton Partnership Homes back in February this year. Pictures by Kirsty Edmonds.

The demolition of a group of 1960s block of flats in Northampton is expected to be approved allowing nearly 130 flats and houses to be built in their place.

A cabinet meeting is being held on Wednesday to rubber stamp the demolition of seven flatblocks in Spring Boroughs, off Horsemarket.

Residents living in St Mary's and Berkeley House might have to move out of their homes in five years if plans are approved by the borough council.

A report released within the last week states the council's housing department is asking cabinet to approve the regeneration of Spring Boroughs, which means knocking down seven flat blocks in turn for building 126 new and affordable homes.

At the moment, Berkeley House comprises of 60 flats in four blocks and St Mary’s Court comprises of 22 flats in three blocks.

In August this year, the planning committee at the Guildhall approved the demolition of Berkeley House and St Mary’s Court.

READ MORE: All the major planning applications decided in Northampton this week

The new dwellings would include 62 one-bed apartments, 40 two-bed apartments, five two-bed houses, 17 three-bed houses and two four-bed houses.

Recommendations to cabinet are asking the committee to approve the proposed capital scheme budget of £15.9 million.

This money includes the scheme costs involved in the acquisition of leasehold properties, standard construction costs, demolition and asbestos removal, any potential archaeology fees and finally, location construction costs.

In July, the council’s planning committee approved the proposed design and layout of ‘The Roof Gardens’ which includes a seven-storey apartment block, containing 62 one-bedroom homes and 40 two-bedroom homes.

For those homes, there will be 42 car parking spaces, eight motorbike parking spaces and 102 cycle storage units for the 102 apartments

In Northampton Partnership Homes 'Feasibility Report' it explained why redeveloping the site – instead of refurbishing Berkeley House and St Mary’s Court – is the best option.

The report said blocks were 'badly designed, of poor construction and are thermally inefficient', the area has become a magnet for fly tipping and anti social behaviour and a lack of secure and useable land for children to play, dry clothes and grow food.

Council documents add: 'Where possible, leaseholders who have lived in their homes continuously for at least the last 12 months will be given the option to return by purchasing their new home outright, purchasing their new home through a shared ownership lease or following a comprehensive affordability assessment, being rehoused from the Housing Register in a rented home.

Of the 48 council tenants who have moved out of Berkeley House and St Mary’s Court, 21 have expressed a desire to return to ‘The Roof Gardens’ when it is completed and ready to live in.

READ MORE: 'I like my flat as it is': Residents concerned about proposals to demolish entire Spring Boroughs street